WAFFLES: Hey Boss, do I stress you out?
KATIE: Only when we're in the same room, Waffles.
WAFFLES: How about in the same window sill?
This post is sponsored by FELIWAY®
Our friends and readers who have been with us over the years are no strangers to Katie and Waffles' often complicated relationship. They've come a long way since way back in 2012 when a spirited orange kitten named Waffles moved into the family, much to Katie's chagrin, and started taking our blog by storm.
We like to think we have a very peaceful and calm home. And for the most part, we do. But even still, stress is no stranger to us. We've heard from many of you who have experienced the same. Stress can sneak its way into your home in the most subtle of ways. It's not all sunshine, rainbows and catnip. Especially for cats.
That includes Katie and Waffles.
What some cat parents don't realize is that many unwanted behaviors can actually be a cat's natural reaction to stress. Things like fighting at food time or inappropriate scratching are just a couple examples of behaviors commonly linked to stress. Not knowing what to do about it makes it even more stressful for pets and their humans.
April is De-Stress Your Pet Month
We're helping our friends at FELIWAY®
share some very simple tips on how to create a peaceful and calm home for your and your cats. Our 7 Tips to Kitty Bliss
can absolutely help to improve and maintain the well being and happiness of your furry family members in ways that are incredibly easy to incorporate into your daily lives.
7 Tips to Kitty Bliss
1. Mitts Off My Dish!
If there's ever a time for stress to enter center stage, it's mealtime. At least that's how it is for us. Maintaining individual food and water locations can help reduce that mealtime animosity. Not only do Katie and Waffles have their own food dishes and watering stations, we make sure they can't see each other when eating. Their food dishes are positioned on opposite sides of the kitchen island so that neither of them feel the need to look over their shoulders.
2. Food, Glorious Food
It's truly remarkable what a game changer a good diet can be. As obligate carnivores, cats nutritional needs are not only very specific to their species, but crucial for them to thrive and survive. As we've transitioned Waffles and Katie to a protein rich diet, we've noticed they're so much more satisfied. In fact, they rarely beg for food or treats anymore. Eating a healthy and protein rich diet is something we believe contributes to their overall well being and longevity.
3. Serenity Now
Sometimes Katie and Waffles love to get away from it all. It's important for any cat to have a place they can retreat to where they feel comfortable and safe. We keep their cozy carriers in a large walk-in closet. It's quiet, private and given it's the warmest room in the hose, it's the perfect spot for napping, sleeping and safely hiding out when the plumber is here or houseguests have arrived.
Keeping their carriers open and accessible also helps to define them as more than just a means of transport to the vet. Katie and Waffles are so comfortable in theirs in fact, they sleep in them just about every night.
4. He Must Work Out
By now Glogirly is thinking these tips aren't just appropriate for cats. Good food, her own dish, a comfy bed, and exercise. Let's hope she's paying attention!
We've lost count of how many times we've been told by vets and behaviorists that play is often the answer to any number of unwanted behaviors. Animosity between cats and destructive behavior can be curtailed quickly with just a little daily playtime. Tiring them out both physically and mentally is key. Play helps tap into their instinctual behaviors to hunt and stalk. Not only will this help to cut down on that unwanted behavior, it will also help to strengthen the human-cat bond.
5. Puzzle Power
Cats, especially Waffles, aren't necessarily the best at multitasking. Food puzzles keep them busy and occupied.
6. Chopin for Cats
Glogirly often has music playing throughout the house. She's found it to be a soothing alternative to the overabundance of news on TV. And whenever she leaves the house, she always puts on classical music for Katie and Waffles. The sound can make them feel less alone and can also mask scary sounds like planes, trains, and automobiles.
7. Scratch, Scratch, Scratch
Cats need to scratch. It's instinctual. Most cat parents don't want this kind of instinctual attention paid to their sofas and chairs though. Scolding them for scratching the furniture and not providing an appropriate alternative can cause stress for cats and their humans. We keep some kind of scratching post in every room of the house.
FELIWAY®-Another Secret Weapon for Stress
In addition to these simple tips, FELIWAY®
products can further help bring a sense of calm to your furry family and alleviate many stress-related behaviors. We use their products all the time. In the house, in the car, even our vet uses them in her clinic.
How Does It Work?
Cats communicate through natural messages released in the air called pheromones. These pheromones give them a sense of safety and belonging.
FELIWAY® mimics three naturally occurring feline pheromones, or "messages."
You've probably seen your cat rub their face against corners, furniture and even you. As they mark their territory, they leave an odorless message called a Feline Facial Pheromone. These happy messages provide comfort and security.
Momma cats communicate with their kittens through natural messages released into the air. These Cat Appeasing Pheromones help to maintain harmony and social bonds between cats of all ages.
As you might expect, this is how cats communicate with each other. For example, when they scratch an object in their space, they leave both visible (like scratch marks) and invisible Territory Messages that indicate this is mine.
We're celebrating De-Stress Your Pet Month with a special GIVEAWAY!
Since we love and use all of their products, we're giving three lucky winners a FELIWAY® product of their choice.
Enter via Rafflecopter to win your choice of any one FELIWAY® product:
- FELIWAY® MultiCat Diffuser
- FELIWAY® Diffuser
- FELIWAY® Spray
- FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY®
Though prizes can only ship to US addresses, we're opening the giveaway up to our readers worldwide so that if anyone outside the US wins, they can gift their prize to a friend or shelter here in the US.
Good luck, everyone...and thanks for entering!
To learn more, visit www.de-stressyourpet.com
. FELIWAY® is available at your veterinary hospital, PetSmart or local pet retailer.
FTC Disclosure: This post and giveaway is sponsored by FELIWAY®, which means that we were paid to create and feature this content. Regardless of the payment received, we only feature products and services we use and/or feel would be relevant to our readers.